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Skeptic Summary #147

By The Staff
Posted on: 6/24/2007

9/11 vindication, Cho was clean, Surface flattened, plane tickets, logical deism, alternative medicine, strange science and more!

Weeks ending June 23, 2007 (Vol 4, #24)

Welcome to the Skeptic Summary, a quick week-in-review guide to the Skeptic Friends Network and the rest of the skeptical world.

Forum Highlights:
Purdue U. study supports 9/11 report - LALALA… I’m not listening!

Sorry Travolta, Cho not on drugs… - Almost all school shootings involve psychiatric drugs, except the majority of them.

Video parody of Microsoft Surface - Too funny to miss.

Editor’s Choice: Help send Dr. Mabuse to Dragon*Con - Please.

From the Archives: I am a logical deist - Franko’s one-shot leads to a slightly illogical discussion.
This Week’s Poll:
Eye of newt, wing of bat
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Strange Science, The Rocky Road to Modern Paleontology and Biology
Ever wonder how people figured out there used to be such things as dinosaurs? Curious about how scientists learned to reconstruct fossil skeletons? The knowledge we take for granted today was slow in coming, and along the way, scientists and scholars had some weird ideas. This Web site shows some of their mistakes, provides a timeline of events, gives biographies of a few of the people who have gotten us where we are today, and lists resources you can use to learn more.
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: EST vs EDT in time-zones; Jerome displayed an unwavering desire to change the subject when asked to support what science was built on the Piltdown Man not being a hoax. Sunject was dropped after 1½ hours.

Wednesday: Dave introduced an RPG-based math problem which lead to Ricky doing calculus for the rest of the night. The rest of those in chat talked about other RPG games and memories of old. Then a discussion on talent and practice especially relating to music and sports. Cune got pissed at his comments being truncated and started yelling profanities. Kil told Ricky to punt Cune but he was still busy with the RPG problem. Of course, the end result of all of this was Ricky getting fired yet again. The rest of the night was spent on jobs, degrees, and debt, as well as arguing various scientific topics with Jerome.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Relativity Passes Absolute Test

Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter #80

What’s New by Bob Park

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.
Book of the Week:
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.

“Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell?

Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right — a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong.

Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception—how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Xing Xu, Big Bird and the six day shuffle (1,311 views)
  2. Can feelings be unethical? (1,237 views)
  3. Atheism and morals (1,224 views)
  4. Federal Reserve Act of 1913 (922 views)
  5. Mt. St. Helens, geological dating, creationism (505 views)
  6. Purdue U. study supports 9/11 report (409 views)
  7. USA is a de facto communist state (388 views)
  8. ABC Nightline debate (359 views)
  9. Taking back the default position (349 views)
  10. Newton’s religious writings displayed in Jerusalem (341 views)
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (192 views)
  2. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (74 views)
  3. Cold Reading (64 views)
  4. Miracle Thaw Tray (41 views)
  5. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (34 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #146 (33 views)
  7. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (30 views)
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (26 views)
  9. The Bible Answer Man (26 views)
  10. Spam Alert (18 views)
There were 6,196 daily visitors this week.

More issues of the Skeptic Summary can be found in our archive.

The Skeptic Summary is produced by the staff of the Skeptic Friends Network, copyright 2007, all rights reserved.

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